House in a cold climate (in Brazil!)

Gail Taylor
Tuesday 16 Jun 2015

Far from the heat of the big cities, Studio mk27’s super-chalet embraces nature whatever the weather

The Mororó House was designed by Marcio Kogan and Maria Cristina Motta of Brazil’s Studio mk27, with interiors by Diana Radomysler, also of Studio mk27. 

The house is set in a mountainous region known for its low temperatures, 180 km from the city of São Paulo. The architecture sought to create generous internal spaces for the cold days, such as, for example, a cozy living room and an enclosed bathhouse with a pool, where the views can be appreciated while being protected by a skin of glass.

Externally, the same continuous volume creates a duality between an opaque block – where the living room, bedrooms and service areas are – and the transparent stretch of the heated pool and sauna. The volumetry of the house was provided by a 65m extrusion of an icon-house with pitched roof. An external wooden deck connects the spaces and creates a suntrap for the summer months.

In the opaque part of the volume, which is 50m long, the openings were minimized and used as sliding doors to intensify the integration between inside and out. This relation between empty and full in the façade allows for an excellent thermal performance, with a high degree of electric energy conservation. 

The transparent stretch is 14 meters long and the internal ventilation was spatially designed to avoid condensation on the glass by the heated pool, which would harm the relationship with the view.

The house was not situated on the top of a rugged site, as initially desired by the clients, but in its lowest part – in the midst of a beautiful forest of pine trees. This solution allowed the building to be surrounded by nature, creating an intimate ambience.

The choice of the materials such as wood for the interiors, made it a cozy house, like the traditional chalets found in the mountains. Following the desires of the future residents, the kitchen can be integrated with the other spaces via fully opening wooden sliding doors. In this way it was not only possible to design ample and continuous spaces internally, but also to have central spaces for day-to-day living that informed the house plan.

Gail Taylor

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